Periodically, it’s helpful for all of us to stop and take stock of what we have accomplished and the impact it has had. While, this is true in our personal or professional lives, it is also a beneficial exercise for our organization. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you some 2022 TAMIO milestones and how it sets us up for the future.
At our annual conference last June, we announced the results of the TAMIO Board elections for your executive officers. Here are the results:
- President: Jay Warren, Arlington
- President-Elect: Molly Fox, Bedford
- Vice President for Education and Development: Dorothy White
- Vice President for Awards: Sara Bustilloz, Round Rock
- Vice President for Communications: LeaAnn Peterson, Seabrook
Each of these positions runs through June 2024.
In October, TAMIO members approved two important measures to improve our organization and further our momentum. First, to maintain our programming options and keep pace with rising costs, a revision of TAMIO’s bylaws was overwhelmingly approved that provided for a $40 increase in the annual membership fee, to $125 annually. This is the first membership dues increase since 2014.
Second, the membership unanimously approved a constitutional change that expanded TAMIO’s regional structure, adding three regions. The change was needed to keep up with population growth in Texas and maintain the expanded programming TAMIO began offering at the beginning of the pandemic. Specifically, the modification is intended to:
- More evenly distribute TAMIO’s membership.
- Create regions that are more compact, which will facilitate more in-person, regional programming
- Align region populations with similar interests, issues and/or needs
- Grow the TAMIO Board to help the organization maintain its programs
- Allow for more leadership opportunities within the organization
- Ensure voices from all segments of the state are heard
Following the results of the constitutional election, the TAMIO Board appointed three new regional directors (regions 2, 4 and 6 are new regions), and a fourth regional director due to an unexpected vacancy. Here are the current regional directors:
|In December, we had one more unexpected vacancy. Dorothy White retired after two decades as Garland’s Director of Communications. During her tenure, Dorothy had served on the TAMIO Board twice, most recently as the Vice President for Development and Education. Shannah Hayley, Director of Communications and Community Outreach for Plano, was appointed to fill the remainder of Dorothy’s term. |
TAMIO ended the fiscal year with $168,999 in assets. We also saw an 8% increase in membership in 2022, from 406 to 442 members.
Learning and Connecting
TAMIO’s Annual Conference in Houston saw a few firsts. Based on member feedback, we added a small shop track to the conference. This consisted of a day’s worth of concurrent sessions focused on the issues our small shops face with presenters coming from many of those organizations sharing relevant experience. In the future, the Board hopes to make the small shop track available every other year at our annual conference.
A few other conference highlights included:
- 255 total participants, of which an estimated 40% were first time attendees
- 18 sessions, two preconference session, four keynote addresses, and Film Fest, with more than 30 TAMIO members from across Texas sharing their insights, experiences and skills
- A record-tying 435 submissions to the TAMI Awards Program
- We celebrated 122 TAMI Award winners for their inspiring work in graphic and website design, event planning, media relations, project management, video production, marketing and photography
At the same time, we continued with our “learning throughout the year” philosophy, hosting eight webinars on a host of timely, informative topics, adding to the TAMIO Thoughts blog posts, expanding our regional programming, distributing three quarterly newsletters, and increasing our engagement on the TAMIO Facebook page, which now has 390 followers (a 15% increase from 2021).
Based on the number of new members who have joined our organization this decade, the TAMIO Board created the TAMIO One-on-One mentoring program in January of 2022. It pairs seasoned professionals with new communicators, based on job function, location and interests. Twelve mentor/mentee groups participated in the program’s first year from across the state.
Finally, nine TAMIO members graduated from TCU’s Certified Communicator Program in 2022, including: Abby Aldrich (Bedford), LouAnn Campbell (Tyler), Michelle Feldker (McKinney), Denise Lessard (McKinney), Shelby O’Brien (Portland), Jordan Schupbach (Amarillo), Zachery Smith (Forney), Jenna Vinson (New Braunfels), Rachel Waddill (Robinson). Congrats to the 2022 Cohort and to all TAMIO members who have completed the program.
Based on member feedback, we added a new category to the TAMI Awards in 2022 to highlight the work of small shop communicators. Almost two dozen towns and cities vied for the inaugural Best Small Shop award, with Lake Jackson winning the “Best One Man Band” and Addison taking home the “More than One Staff Member” awards. Congrats to both these cities and all the others who placed in this new category.
Also in 2022, the TAMIO Board bestowed its highest honor, the Cheryl A. Soward Communicator of Distinction Award, to Jay Socol. Jay retired in the summer of last year after a long and distinguished career in municipal communication, leading the comms teams in Bryan and College Station. Along the way, he served on the TAMIO Board in numerous positions, including as our president. This award is given out only when warranted to those in our profession who exemplify the best standards of government communication. There’s no doubt Jay fits that description perfectly. Congrats to our friend Jay Socol!
Looking to the future, the TAMIO Board is focused on how we can continue our positive momentum and evolve to meet the needs of our members, including:
- As you were submitting your 2023 TAMI Awards, you may have noticed several new categories. Based on membership feedback and input from the TAMIO Awards Committee, we added these new or revised categories: Best Social Media Post, Best Overall City Website, Best Use of Shortform Video, Best Issue Specific Website, DEI Outreach/Campaign, and Crisis Communication.
- The TAMIO annual conference will be in Arlington this year. Program highlights will include a night of networking at Globe Life Field, concurrent sessions on ADA compliance, listening, PIO 101 and video programming (to name a few), and five dynamic general session speakers. Members can choose between a tour of AT&T Stadium or a Canva bootcamp for their preconference session.
- Also, we can announce that our 2024 Annual Conference will be on the River Walk in San Antonio. This will be a special conference, as it will celebrate our organization’s 50th anniversary. Stay tuned for more details.
- In the coming weeks the Development and Education Committee will launch a new initiative for TAMIO called the Knowledge Project. It will help identify experts in certain areas of our profession who can be resources for our membership and possibly beyond. More details will be coming in an email and survey in April. Stay tuned.
- We have several opportunities to get more involved with the organization. In addition to our mentoring program and the upcoming conference, you can join one of our standing committees (Development & Education and Awards), volunteer to be a judge with the CAPIO Awards each year, or become a TAMIO Teammate. If you’re interested in serving, please reach out to me (email@example.com) or any board member.
- In 2023 we will hold elections for all eight of our regional director positions.
Finally, to learn more about TAMIO and what’s new, be sure to follow us on Facebook or check out the news page, which is loaded with all of our most recent content.
On behalf of the TAMIO Board of Directors, it is an honor to serve this organization.
Jay Warren, CPC
Director of Communication & Legislative Affairs
City of Arlington